Aadi Perukku


On the eighteenth day of Adi
we celebrate the onset of monsoon
a happy time of cooling rain to feed the crops.

Women flock to the river.Young girls perform the puja,
offer kadholai, kapparisi, and karugumani
to be blessed with good husbands.

River Cauvery is personified as a girl.
She swirls in a pradikshina enters
the temple dancing in an ecstasy.

She washes the portals of the Srirangam temple
touches the entrance. Withdraws
seeing Lord Renganatha in ananthasayanam

He is relaxing, Rests his head on the left hand
while his body is recumbent on the serpent
Adisesha in the sea of cosmic dissolution.

The Lord watches Kaveri’s play:
The waters ebb and flow. He condescends.
Beckons her to come near him.

She enters the sanctum in awe.
Pays obeisance and beseeches his blessing.
Pleads for a gift.

Twitching his eyebrows, he quips.
“Why do you ask for a gift from me
while devotees shower bounties on you?”

“Anna, do not pretend. Your gift
is a treasure. She kneels before him
her head in a bow.

He laughs with a guffaw.
” Come, my child, come, near”.
Places the Sadari on her head.

She wants more- a gift. Silently
he presses a coin in her palm
She is overjoyed.

The coin shines. The luminosity
is brilliant. The coin grows heavy
in the course of the day. Mystical.
Kaveri is blessed.

She fears to turn back.
Retreats facing Renganatha. His grace overwhelms.
Silence is the melody.

She circumambulates along with the devotees.
The rumble of the river echoes in the
Srirangam temple. An ecstatic cry
Govinda, Govinda resonates.

“Pallandu,pallandu pallayirath aandu
Pala koti noor ayiramMallanda thin tholl manivanna.”

The lyric of Periyalwar flows with charm:
an ecstatic exuberance-
being the golden mean of blissfulness.

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